For what it’s worth: Trump 32, Cruz 26, Rubio 20, Bush 10 in private poll of South Carolina

posted at 4:01 pm on February 11, 2016 by Allahpundit

So says Bill Kristol, citing “a political operative whom I’ve known a long time and whose integrity I trust” and who’s currently working with an organization — presumably a Super PAC — in SC. Is this data credible? Well, when we’re bearing down on a key vote and we’re starving for numbers in a state that hasn’t been surveyed by a major pollster in three weeks, let’s just say it’s credible enough for a post:

Here’s what the pollster found:

Trump 32

Cruz 26

Rubio 20

Bush 10

Carson 7

Kasich 2

Rich Lowry is hearing of similar numbers in another private poll:

The last poll of South Carolina to place Cruz within single digits of Trump was in mid-December. His smallest lead in January was 14 points. If you’re looking for a reason to believe this data, though, that’s easy: Pre-Iowa polls of SC didn’t reflect that Cruz is now, more or less, the choice of evangelical Republicans. It stands to reason that he’d creep upward towards Trump in a state like South Carolina where the GOP electorate has many born-again Christians. If you’re looking for a reason to disbelieve, that’s easy too: Trump was polling at an average of 36 percent in SC in January and now, coming off his blowout in New Hampshire, he’s … four points lower? If that’s borne out by other polls of SC this week, it’ll be strong evidence that Trump really does have a ceiling of around a third of the party even when he’s got “momentum” from a big win.

The pop-out result, obviously, is Rubio in third with a bullet at 20 percent. That’s some mighty resilient strength for a guy who just wet himself in New Hampshire. If true, it’s also a godsend for Trump: I’d guess that most of Rubio’s supporters would split between Cruz and Jeb Bush as a second choice, meaning that Rubio’s surprising showing here may be denying Cruz the votes he’d need to edge past Trump. Then again, with Rubio just six points behind Cruz, you could turn that logic on its head. If Rubio can siphon away just two or three percent each from Cruz, Bush, and Carson, he’d suddenly be in second and within striking distance of Trump. It’d be Cruz who’s holding him down. That’d be an astounding comeback, and it’d put him back in the role he occupied before NH as the main long-term threat to Trump. Rubio’s been eyeing SC as a stronghold for months and he’s already landed two big endorsements in Tim Scott and Trey Gowdy. I think this poll is probably overstating where he’s actually at in the race right now, but a showing in the mid or high teens wouldn’t be shocking even after the debate malfunction.

Incidentally, I agree with streiff that the sooner Rubio stops talking about a brokered convention, the better. That sort of thing is fun for observers like me to chatter about, especially as an excuse to troll people about the return of Mitt Romney, but coming from a candidate it’s weird:

[E]mbracing a convention fight… and assuming that the winner of that fight would not be the top vote-getter… seems, to me, to be an incredible and unnecessary admission of weakness.

The fact is that unless Rubio does well in South Carolina, he may not be able to sustain a campaign beyond the end of March. Right now there is no evidence that Rubio is going to fight his way into one of the top two positions in the field if the contest is drawn out to the convention. And a so-called brokered convention that dipped to the third or fourth place candidate for the nomination would raise cries of a fix and set off a civil war in the GOP that would carry Hillary Clinton into the White House easily.

“I don’t think it necessarily is negative,” Rubio said today about a brokered convention. Really? The fact that he’s already anticipating not winning a majority of delegates after just two states have voted doesn’t say something negative about the state of his campaign? I’ll bet Cruz and Trump think a brokered convention sounds pretty negative.

Here’s Cruz’s new ad in South Carolina, which is … different.


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Schadenfreude on February 11, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Interesting exit polls in New Hampshire:

Cruz wasn’t the top pick of evangelicals in the Granite State.

That honor went to national front-runner Donald Trump, who took 27 percent of the evangelical vote, according to exit polling. Cruz came in second with 23 percent of evangelical support, followed by Marco Rubio (13 percent) and John Kasich (11 percent).

http://www.charismanews.com/politics/primaries/55091-evangelicals-split-their-votes-in-new-hampshire

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 7:50 PM

Trump sounds like a Pusssy.

portlandon on February 11, 2016 at 4:47 PM

LOL, you wish. Trump is a roaring Lion! Speaking of, going to watch the Rally to hear him roar:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Interesting exit polls in New Hampshire:

Cruz wasn’t the top pick of evangelicals in the Granite State.

That honor went to national front-runner Donald Trump, who took 27 percent of the evangelical vote, according to exit polling. Cruz came in second with 23 percent of evangelical support, followed by Marco Rubio (13 percent) and John Kasich (11 percent).

http://www.charismanews.com/politics/primaries/55091-evangelicals-split-their-votes-in-new-hampshire

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 7:50 PM

I have it on good word from the real evangelicals who didn’t vote for Trump that those Trump voters that described themselves as evangelicals aren’t really evangelicals, they are devil worshipers.

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 11, 2016 at 7:57 PM

LOL, you wish. Trump is a roaring Lion! Speaking of, going to watch the Rally to hear him roar:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Have fun. Stay safe!

libfreesMom on February 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM

Chomsky Dance Recital on February 11, 2016 at 7:57 PM

You must have listened to M.K.:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 8:45 PM

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 7:54 PM

Have fun. Stay safe!

libfreesMom on February 11, 2016 at 8:00 PM

The Rally has been delayed to allow more people to get in.

Thanks, haven’t watched a Trump Rally that I didn’t have fun!!

I don’t know what venue they are at though.

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 8:48 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZIB5XO-0s74&feature=youtu.be

Schadenfreude on February 11, 2016 at 8:16 PM

Thanks! They are playing music while waiting and the audio is great.
I was on Fox 10 out of Phoenix. Your site is better:-)

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 8:50 PM

@Schad…I have the chat on, LOL So crazy too!

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 8:52 PM

What a great crowd!! 5,000 outside that couldn’t get in. Don’t know what the capacity of the Baton Rouge River Center is, but by the sound of the crowd is must be large.

Trump Rally, so great!!! Oh, Trump just said 11,000 inside.

bluefox on February 11, 2016 at 9:05 PM

I haven’t listened to a trump rally where he had a coherent thought.

wheelgun on February 11, 2016 at 9:32 PM

Since AP has decided to shill for Cruz this primary season, someone should probably point out some of the flaws in his arguments against Rubio. For the record, I would count myself as a Rubio supporter for the moment, but if and only if he can bury the corpse of Jeb! by coming out swinging this week. With that being said, AP is deeply confused about the state of the primary.

First, let’s talk about the Donald. First, for the foreseeable future, Trump’s ceiling is 40% of the vote. That is not his floor or even his most likely average in a given state. We can expect to see Trump hanging around in the low 30s pretty much everywhere. What AP doesn’t seem to get is that attacking Trump won’t move those numbers. The voters that are in for Trump are all in at this point. There are no undecideds or late breakers going for him. He has his voting bloc and no one can touch it.

The Cruz strategy is to get it to a binary race between him and Trump. He figures, rightly or wrongly, that he can win a two man race with Trump. Cruz is really smart, and he’s only attacking Trump because Trump came after him first and he doesn’t want to be seen as weak by his own supporters. However, behind the scenes, he is doing everything he can to let the establishment candidates beat each other up.

Although Rubio is on the ropes, Erickson is right that he still has a path forward. He is in a comfortable 3rd place in delegates, more than Bush and Kasich combined. If he can come back strong this week and steal back a few votes from Jeb and maybe Carson, he can finish a strong third. He can also steal a few delegates by winning a few congressional districts, like Trey Gowdy for example. If he follows that up with by beating Jeb! in Nevada and the March 1 primaries, he can get it down to a three man race with more than half the total delegates remaining. Rubio still has to feel he can win a three man race with Cruz and Trump, especially with the Comeback Kid narrative that would have been built up if he can survive to that point.

AP is wrong that Cruz and Rubio need to train their fire on Trump. Trump is irrelevant to the debate. Cruz needs to keep hitting Rubio because Jeb and Kasich are no threat to him. Rubio needs to attack Jeb, but now he also has to fight back hard on anyone that hits him to be seen as a fighter. I think the betting markets are still correct. AP is letting his loathing of the Donald and his eeroyeness cloud his perspective. And he should stop trying to secretly shill for Cruz by telling everyone Rubio is done, because AP knows that the only person who benefits from Rubio leaving is Cruz.

HTnFBCoachnTX1980 on February 11, 2016 at 9:36 PM

Is the person speaking at the Cruz end of the ad Tim Russ from ST: Voyager?

tommytom02 on February 11, 2016 at 9:46 PM

If Rubio and Carson don’t get out soon and put their support behind Cruz, we will be seeing a President Trump. This is most likely the GOPe’s strategy at this point.

PaddyORyan on February 11, 2016 at 9:47 PM

Cruz and his ads using children – his own and others – are really creepy. For a guy who already rubs people the wrong way, maybe he ought to lay off that kind of thing.

If Rubio and Carson don’t get out soon and put their support behind Cruz, we will be seeing a President Trump. This is most likely the GOPe’s strategy at this point.

PaddyORyan on February 11, 2016 at 9:47 PM

Oh, right, because of course this is totally a two man race, but only Cruz aupporters can see that! \

Priscilla on February 11, 2016 at 10:57 PM

New ted cruz mailer

Dear Voter:

Our team has discovered slave bones under your house.

If you do not vote for Ted Cruz the state will be sent to your home to begin an archealogical dig.

Bless your heart,

trusTED

renalin on February 11, 2016 at 4:34 PM

I’m sorry but this made me laugh so hard. I’m not even sure why. But I loathe Cruz and wouldn’t put something like this past him. He’s CLUELESS and CREEPY. Just creepy enough to send someone to your house to dig up “slave bones.” LOL

Nicole Coulter on February 12, 2016 at 2:52 AM

Here’s a poll question for those of you who detest Trump:

Who is your number two guy behind Cruz?

Rubio? Bush? Kasich? Carson?

I go for Cruz number one and Trump the Wild Card number two and …gulp…Rubio number three.

Or…you decide not to detest Trump??

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2016 at 4:01 AM

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2016 at 4:01 AM

I detest Trump because he has done zero to actually make me think he actually is in it more than for himself and that he is not going to extend his liberal stances.

My card is Cruz/ Rubio / Im done. Both I think can be extremely appealing to moderates and conservatives.

watertown on February 12, 2016 at 5:28 AM

Priscilla on February 11, 2016 at 10:57 PM

I think Rubio still has a chance.

Now, if I had to pick one who I think would do rather well on a NATIONAL stage, I would say Rubio. …. hear me out here…

I think Rubio is a good pick because he appeals to the more moderates. On top of that, he is young, a minority ( this should not matter but it does factor in with some voters ), good speaking skills, and this country is a center right country.

Is Rubio perfect? No he is not. Then again I believe he is 10x better than Mittens was…. and do not think he will roll over like Mittens did, which is a big reason WHY Mittens lost.

Now that is not saying I dont like Cruz, I love the guy, but as many stated, there is something “creepy” about him, and optics are HUGE in elections. You give that voter that gut feeling something is not “right” about the person, justified or not, they will not vote for that person.

watertown on February 12, 2016 at 5:35 AM

I gave him my baby to kiss and he bit it in the head.

cynccook on February 11, 2016 at 4:04 PM

Thread winner right there.

WordsMatter on February 12, 2016 at 6:42 AM

Donald Trump turned me into a Newt!

Johnnyreb on February 11, 2016 at 4:36 PM

A newt?

RandallinHerndon on February 12, 2016 at 7:48 AM

I wonder if it is the Kill Trump PAC putting out these numbers.

huckleberryfriend on February 12, 2016 at 7:54 AM

watertown on February 12, 2016 at 5:28 AM

Thanks!

Thing is, I don’t think moderates can win the election for us.

Still, I agree Rubio is much better than Romney. When debate time comes and its Rubio out there, he’d better not back off one bit from Hillary. He does, he moderates, and he’ll lose.

Sherman1864 on February 12, 2016 at 9:51 AM

The first real poll comes in and Trump kicks ass.
Trump 36/ Cruz 19 /Rubio 15 /Bush 11

http://opinionsavvy.com/2016/02/12/latest-poll-trump-gains-in-south-carolina/

coca on February 12, 2016 at 11:15 AM

Two polls not conducted by some biased Super Pac both have Trump with 16% leads over Cruz. Believe what you want.Another win for Trump like New Hampshire and well lets just say they will be tripling Trump’s secret service detail.

redware on February 12, 2016 at 6:29 PM

“Trump will never get above 35.”

It will do.

writeblock on February 12, 2016 at 7:13 PM

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